Regardless of how many years each of us have spent struggling with fall allergies, we’re still caught off guard by the symptoms that come along with the changing colors and cooler weather. Luckily, there are ways to battle these common allergens so you can spend more time picking pumpkins and less time wasting Kleenex tissues.
1. Use over-the-counter and prescription medications – While there is no real cure for fall allergies, there are treatments that can ease the symptoms of sore throat and congestion so you can carry on with daily activities. First, you should assess the severity of your symptoms. OTC medications can provide temporary relief from allergies and include options such as pills, liquids, nasal sprays and eye drops. If you’re symptoms are severe or persistent, a prescription antihistamine and decongestant may be the best option.
2. Avoid windy days and early mornings– Ragweed, a plant that grows abundantly in our region, is one of the main culprits behind annoying fall allergies. We are easily affected by ragweed pollen as it spreads rapidly through the air, collecting on our clothing and hair. Avoid this allergy trap by spending more time indoors on days that are especially windy, as well as early mornings when higher amounts of pollen are released.
3. Wash your hair frequently and dry your clothes – It’s impossible to avoid all amounts of pollen in the air. Washing your hair before bedtime will rinse off the pollen that has accumulated throughout the day and can prevent you from ingesting pollen in your sleep. It’s also a good idea to start using the dryer to dry your clothes as opposed to hanging them outdoors. This will prevent pollen from sticking to your clothes while they dry.
4. Wear a face mask outdoors – Our allergies seem to get worse while we’re trying to catch up on yard work. A face mask will keep you from being exposed to pollen and mold spores that are found in the dead leaves you’re raking. Protecting yourself against these allergens will make jumping in a fresh pile of leaves look less like a death trap and more like a fun reward for your hard work! You can also benefit from a face mask during the morning hours or windy weather.
5. Get allergy tested – It’s easier to fight the battle against allergens when you know what you’re up against. Allergy skin tests will help you determine what your allergy triggers are so that you can take proper measures to avoid them. For example, an allergy skin test may reveal that you react to weed pollens, grass, mold spores, and trees. Once an assessment has been made to find the root of your allergic reactions, your physician can help you find treatments, including allergy shots, to deal with these symptoms effectively.
Be sure to follow these tips so you can appreciate the outdoors without calling in to work the next morning!